Rohingya refugees pose serious security threat: Centre to SC

Georgia Reed
September 20, 2017

The Narendra Modi government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya Muslims' illegal immigration into India was illegal and their continued stay poses a serious security threat to the nation.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the Rohingya at the Supreme Court hearing, said the Indian constitution "provides equal rights and liberty to every person" including non-citizens.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that a final decision on the fate of Rohingya refugees in India would be taken by the Supreme Court. Pointing out that not a single Rohingya was arrested in India for links with the Inter-Services Intelligence or the Islamic State or for doing "hundi" transactions, Owaisi said even if somebody was found indulging in such activity, action should be taken against him or her under the law.

The Rohingya people - majority Muslims - have accused the Myanmar military and Buddhists of Rakhine of responding with a brutal campaign against them.

The Centre filed the affidavit in response to a petition by Mohammad Salimullah and another Rohingya refugee challenging the move to deport them back to Myanmar, where they claim they will face certain death or torture.

As per reports, Centre cited the Foreigners Act to seek the deportation of Rohingyas who have been termed as a threat to national security in the affidavit.

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"We feel helpless and hopeless", said Rohingya youth leader Ali Johar, who came to India in 2012 and lives with his family in a Delhi settlement.

Rejecting the view that Rohingiyas should be allowed to stay in India on humanitarian grounds, Madhav said the government was taking care of the "humanitarian interest" of the country's 1.3 billion people.

"We were told to hand over our demands to a peon, which we did not do", Haque said.

The latest exodus began after Rohingya militants attacked police posts in Rakhine state on August 25 triggering a military backlash. Rohingya activists say many families have lived in Myanmar for years. The stateless Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar for decades.

The hearing will continue next month. Most of the Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, but others have ended up in India, Nepal and Pakistan.

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